Next Tuesday, President Shimon Peres is scheduled to award German Chancellor Angela Merkel Israel's Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israel’s highest civilian honor.
Spokespeople from the Presidential Residence disclosed that the German Chancellor is receiving the award for her "unwavering commitment to Israel's security, her promotion of educating the public against anti-Semitism and racism, and for her extraordinary and moral leadership."
Peres decided to award Merkel the prize after consultation with the Presidential Medal of Distinction Committee, headed by former Supreme Court justice Meir Shamgar, and with Israel’s fifth president, Yitzchak Navon.
“Dr. Angela Merkel is an exceptional leader with lofty values and deeply held moral beliefs that come to expression, among other things, in her warm and friendly relationship to the state of Israel and the Jewish people,” they stated.
The committee for the Presidential Medal of Distinction was created by Peres two years ago. So far, the prestigious prize has been given to 17 people, among them Henry Kissinger, United States President Barack Obama, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, former US President Bill Clinton, and Eli Wiesel.